We got some great shots of the Varnum House Museum grounds and neighborhood in the aftermath of the snowstorm on February 5, 2016.
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PLEASE RSVP AGAIN: If you have already RSVP’d and plan to attend the February 15 meeting, please RSVP again by FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, to Scott Seaback at 401-413-6277 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Again the new meeting date is Monday, February 15.
On Monday, February 15, Varnum Trustee Brian L. Wallin takes us back to the waning days of World War II and a unique experiment in democracy. Working with Washington attorney and fellow Varnum member Christian McBurney, Brian researched the secret purpose of three World War II Prisoner of War camps located in Saunderstown and Jamestown, Rhode Island: an organized effort to educate a select number of German POWs in the basics of democracy. The goal? A cadre of individuals who would plant the seeds of a new post-war Germany to succeed the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler.
In late 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the program, the legality of which fell within the terms of the Geneva Convention. German prisoners would be exposed to American values and the basics of a democratic government. Brian will take us behind the scenes, introduce us to key players, both German and American, and reveal the ultimate impact a program that was kept under such tight security that only then Rhode Island Governor J. Howard McGrath was privy to its actual purpose.
Little has been written about the camps since the end of the War. Last year, research by Brian and Christian took them on a trail that led from Rhode Island to the National Archives in Washington and elsewhere. Their story was recently published in the Online Journal of Rhode Island History.
Brian Wallin, a graduate of Stonehill College and American International College, spent 20 years as a television news reporter before turning his career to hospital administration. He retired in 2009 as Vice President of Kent Hospital where he continues to be active in an advisory capacity. In addition to his contributions to the history blog, he writes a monthly column for the Varnum Continentals newsletter.
This meeting is open to Varnum Members and their guests.
DATE: Monday, February 15, 2016
TIME: 5:30 p.m. (social hour); 6:30 p.m. (dinner followed by program)
MENU: Steak Tips & Peppers ( Bourbon), Chicken Marsala, Vegetable, Salad, Rolls & Butter, Coffee & Pastries
RSVP: Please RSVP by FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, to Scott Seaback at 401/413-6277 or by email at email@example.com.
When I was growing up in Connecticut, my father was a state government executive based in Hartford and I can recall often passing by the Colt Firearms Company with its signature dome located just outside the city. The reason why I love guns today and keep checking https://gun.deals/content/moriarti-armaments for the new attachments I can use to modify them is probably because of the Colt incident which happened when I was young. When I was a youngster, I had the chance to tour the factory and remember seeing some of the famed weapons that were the product of Samuel Colt’s inventive mind. One of them, the .44 caliber Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver, became the most widely used sidearm of the Civil War. A later variation, the famed Model 1873 .45 caliber “Peacemaker” gained fame as the preferred handgun of the Wild West. Let’s take a look at Mr. Colt’s contributions to firearm evolution.
Samuel Colt was born in Hartford in 1814, one of eight children of textile manufacturer Christopher Colt. From his early childhood, Sam demonstrated an inventor’s curiosity but without any scholarly bent. By the age of 16, he had dropped out of school. Colt went to sea and while working on shipboard, became fascinated with the workings of the ship’s wheel. This led him to his first steps in the development of a firearm with a rotating cylinder. In the early 1830’s, Colt wisely patented his idea for a revolving cylinder holding five or six bullets in both Europe and the United States. But, gun owners were not yet ready to give up their single shot muskets or hand weapons and accept a firearm that could fire multiple rounds without having to stop and reload.
However, Colt was a born marketer as well as an inventor. It was once said of him, “Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.” He opened his first manufacturing plant in 1836 in New Jersey at the age of 22. At first, his business failed to gain momentum. But, as word came back from front line soldiers that his revolver was instrumental in defeating the Indians in Florida and Texas, business picked up. It took the 1846 Mexican War and a commission by the U.S. Government to popularize the Colt revolver. Colt secured a government contract for 1,000 handguns. He built his now famous factory in Hartford in 1855 and soon had offices in New York and London. The Civil War was looming and Colt went into high gear.
Taking the .36 caliber Model 1851 Navy revolver, Colt re-engineered the frame to enable the use of a .44 caliber cylinder as well as interchangeable parts. The 1851 Navy Colt had an octagonal barrel, whereas the Army Model 1860 had a rounded 8-inch barrel. The Model 1860 uses a small copper percussion cap to ignite a 30-grain charge of black powder and fire a spherical lead ball or conical shaped bullet. Soldiers usually used paper cartridges consisting of a measured load of black powder and a ball wrapped in nitrate-soaked paper (to make it more flammable). These cartridges were inserted into the front of the cylinder chambers and rammed into place with the loading lever. A percussion cap was seated into a raised aperture (or nipple) at the rear of the chamber on the back of the cylinder. The hammer was cocked and the trigger pulled to fire the weapon. The hammer had to be manually pulled rearward with the thumb to fire each round. Depending on the amount of powder used, the muzzle velocity of the fired ball would be between 550 and 1000 feet per second. Compare that to the muzzle velocity of a modern Colt 1911A1 .45 ACP at 825 feet per second. At .44 caliber, the old Colt Model 1860 had great knockdown power with an effective range of between 50 and 75 yards.
More than 200,000 Model 1860s were produced between 1860 and 1873 (with nearly 130,000 going to the U.S. Government). Although the Colt factory supplied had both the North and South just prior to the start of the Civil War, the vast majority of Colt revolvers carried by Southern fighters were captured. Colt’s patents eventually expired and this opened the door to numerous other smaller gun manufacturers to make copies – some poor, some excellent- that added to the plethora of percussion side arms carried by many of the 2.75 million who served in the War. Nevertheless, the Army Model 1860 and other Colt pistols were certainly weapons of choice on both sides from 1861-1865. Early models of the Model 1860 sold for $20, a little pricey at the time. Eventually, the price was lowered to $14.50.
Colt’s company continued to dominate the handgun market after the Civil War. The company’s most legendary pistol, the Colt Single Action Army in .45 Long Colt caliber, also known as the “Peacemaker”, was introduced in 1873. Various models of this weapon were used by the military during the Indian Wars, the Spanish American War and the Philippines Insurrection. This revolver remains extremely popular today as a reminder of the “Old West” and is still manufactured by Colt.
Colt died in Hartford on January 10, 1862, one of the wealthiest men in America. His company has continued to grow over the many decades since.
Last fall, the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum’s collection was enhanced with the acquisition of a Model 1860, cap n’ ball paper cartridge revolver. Armory Vice President and Museum Curator Patrick Donovan has also obtained a matching military-issued holster in excellent condition (both revolver and holster are illustrated in this article). We continue to enhance our collection of Civil War firearms and other memorabilia, with a special focus on the First Rhode Island Cavalry, a unit whose men would have carried the Model 1860 as a standard-issued sidearm. Watch for more developments in the future.
Departing from our usual article of historic interest, this month we spoke with Armory Vice President & Museum Curator Patrick Donovan about some of the exciting developments going on both in the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum building and our collection.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself. What brought you to Rhode Island? How did you become interested in history and in the Varnum Continentals?
A. I moved to Rhode Island just after graduating from Indiana University in ’95. American Power Conversion (now Schneider Electric) hired me to help start up operations in China as Chinese and Chinese politics were my areas of focus at that time. But I’ve been studying and enjoying history ever since I can remember. Partly because my father and older brothers were into it … and I come from a military family having grandparents and great uncles who were combat veterans in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. I grew up listening to their war stories with great fascination and awe.
I think anyone who loves history has this odd, insatiable desire to “know” what it was like to live and experience times past … a period that is forever gone and unreachable except through whatever skeletal remains survive in the historical record as art, photographs, literature, and artifacts. The past is very mysterious and intriguing to historians, both amateur and professional. Not only is there the sublime satisfying of curiosity, but there’s excitement and learning to be had from these epic, and often deeply personal stories that speak to us still today.
So I think people like me who are interested in history also feel a duty or, at least, have an appreciation for the need to preserve the historical record. And that’s what drew me to the Varnum Continentals. Our fundamental mission, basically, is preservation … preservation of the James Mitchell Varnum estate and the wonderful and broad collection of military artifacts in the Armory museum. This makes me an enthusiastic volunteer and proud and honored to be entrusted with the care of the museum’s historically valuable contents.
Q. Is there a particular period of military history that most interests you?
A. For me, it’s always been the American Civil War. It was such an epic and seminal event in American history. It is recent enough for us to have so much material to view … its battlefields are near to us and often so well preserved. Yet it is distant enough for all of its pain and ugliness to fade sufficiently for us to want to study it and relive its adventure and epic stories. I’ve always liked author Shelby Foote’s statement on the Civil War in the first episode of Ken Burn’s documentary, The Civil War: He said, “Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became … good AND bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.”
Q. You took over as acting curator in the summer of 2015 and were elected at the October Annual Meeting as Armory Vice President and Museum Curator. We’ve seen quite a bit of activity of late, especially in the Armory physical plant. Tell us about some of the more visible changes.
A. Well, priority #1 was to engineer, purchase, and install a state-of-the-art climate control system to ensure our valuable collection will survive for generations. This project is now complete. And I’m happy to report that Champlin Foundations has approved our grant request to retro-actively pay for all of the expenses incurred! Another visible change is a thorough and ground up cleaning of the museum facility itself. One by one, artifacts are being meticulously cleaned and preserved being very careful to not affect their original patina.
Q. Within the strategic plan laid out by the Board of Trustees, you have been working to assess our collection, pinpointing items of special significance and determining the most effective way to display them as well as identifying pieces which might be divested to enable us to fill gaps in the collection. Can you tell us more about your plans?
A. Well, first, I can say that in assessing everything that we have in the building over the last several months, I have found several items that while historically VERY special, have never been displayed…remaining hidden away in a box or a closet. I’m working to change that and developing a plan to significantly expand our display space as well as grouping objects in a more logical (timeline-wise) layout. I hope to eventually have a section dedicated to the Varnum Continentals and local East Greenwich history as well as one for our collection of military oddities…items that don’t really fit our mission per se, but which are just too cool and interesting to de-access. All of this will take time and money. I’ll share a more detailed plan in the not too distant future.
Q. You touched on our organization’s mission that is to preserve and encourage patriotism. How does the museum collection contribute to that effort?
A. Weapons, field gear, uniforms, and personal correspondence make up an important part of the historical record of our past as Americans. They provide a very direct, tactile connection to history that you just can’t get from reading a book. As you walk through our rooms and now even handle some of the items, you can’t help but think of the sacrifice, bravery, and selflessness of the soldiers of all countries and all eras. I think most people are emotionally moved when they visit. And if that happens, then I think we’ve done our job as a patriotic organization.
Q. The collection ranges from the period of the Colonial and Revolutionary War era up to Korea. Why stop at that point?
A. This was my original thinking when I started. We only have “x” amount of space and had to draw the line somewhere. Being that we are an “historical” organization and given what we had on hand in our museum already, stopping at the Korean War seemed to make sense. However, I think it’s important to represent all American-involved conflicts regardless of time period as history is an ongoing process. So I’m actively accepting new donations from veterans and families of veterans who served in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, and our current War on Terror in the Middle East.
Q. You spoke about the restoration of artifacts in our collection. You have been fortunate in having some able assistance in the work, I know. Tell us more about this effort.
A. Now that we have the environment controlled from a temperature and humidity standpoint, we’re not under time pressure to clean and preserve the weaponry and other items. Which is a great thing because restoring and protecting a single firearm can require 2 to 3 hours or more … and we have hundreds of items! The challenge is having the patience, the tools, and the know-how to do this type of work properly. If you move too quickly, use poorly sized tools, or don’t understand the fine line between gentle cleaning and removal of the patina, you can easily destroy the value of the item. Until recently, I’ve been doing all of this myself. But, our new Treasurer, Tim Jackson, has been helping me quite a lot lately with this work. He has incredible weaponry expertise and experience from his service in the infantry and as a fellow collector. I trust him.
Q. Every museum curator has a wish list. What would you like to acquire in the future?
A. Well we just recently filled a few big holes by adding a Colt Model 1860 revolver, a very rare 2nd Model Burnside Carbine made in Providence, RI, and in mint condition from its arsenal re-build, a very early 1943 Model 1903A4 Sniper rifle. I’d like to add other Rhode Island made firearms including a Model 1861 Springfield Rifle and M1941 Johnson Automatic rifle. I’m always on the lookout for any RI-related military items. In fact, I’m about to acquire from a friend in Gettysburg some relics and tintype photos of Union Cavalrymen from the 1st RI Cavalry. Another item that comes to mind that we are missing is an M1 Thompson submachine gun…one of the most iconic American weapons of WW2. I have a spreadsheet with a wish list of “missing” items.
Q. Volunteerism and active membership are two vital aspects to the success of any non-profit organization. What are your thoughts on the importance to the Varnum Continentals?
A. A volunteer organization is only as good as its volunteers and members. None of us makes any money doing what we do. And most of us have full-time careers and families that take up the majority of our time. Having team-oriented, positive people with the time to keep things running smoothly is critical. An active, growing membership is also important in helping us serve our mission of promoting American patriotism. Members do this by financially helping us, by celebrating and commemorating the heroism and sacrifice of our veterans, and by helping us get the word out about our organization and museum.
Q. Where would you like to see the Armory Museum in, say three to five years?
A. I’m going to keep my cards close to my vest on this one as I’m still working on the plan But it is safe to say that it will be larger, better conserved, better organized, more protected, and more open! Stay tuned!
By Varnum Trustee & Member Brian Wallin
Look what we just found! Yet ANOTHER treasure in the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum archives. This is an 1804 ship’s passport signed by President Thomas Jefferson AND then Secretary of State James Madison.
The Varnum Continentals welcome John McNiff, a Ranger with the National Park Service at the Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, as our guest speaker at the January Varnum Members Meeting on Monday, January 11, 2016. This dinner is open to Varnum Members and their guests, and is held at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum at 6 Main St, East Greenwich, RI.
Mr. McNiff has created and presented numerous programs and lectures about Roger Williams, co-founder founder of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and early proponent of religious freedom. He has consulted, worked on, and appeared in several films about the Colonial period, with a special focus on the early Colonial history of Rhode Island. Here’s a sample from YouTube!
John McNiff is a Rhode Island native. Raised in Warwick, he attended Rhode Island College and received his BA in History with a minor in Anthropology in 1979. After studying archaeology in England and working on numerous archaeological projects throughout New England, he received his MA in Anthropology, specializing in archaeology, in 1990 from SUNY Binghamton. In 1996 John began working with the National Park Service and in 1997 was stationed as a Park Ranger at the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street in Providence.
Please RSVP by FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, to Scott Seaback at 401/413-6277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting Date: Monday, January 11
Time: 5:30 p.m. (social hour); 6:30 p.m. (dinner followed by program)
Location: Varnum Memorial Armory Museum
Dinner Menu: Italian Buffet
Christmas came early for the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. We just acquired several wonderful identified artifacts from the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry, a hard-fighting unit in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. Thank you, Brendan Synnamon and your shop, The Union Drummer Boy, for putting all these things together!
The regiment was organized between December 1861 and March 1862 at Pawtucket as the 1st New England Cavalry. Late in that month, the regiment was sent to Washington D.C. and initially assigned to Hatch’s cavalry brigade in Nathaniel Banks’ V Corps in the Department of the Shenandoah. Throughout the war, the regiment would be a part of many reorganizations of the cavalry, although the majority of its service was with the Army of the Potomac.
Most of the regiment’s service in 1862 was in northern Virginia, where it served as scouts to determine enemy movements, as well as foraging for supplies and screening infantry movements. The troopers saw action contesting Stonewall Jackson’s cavalry in the Valley Campaign. They fought in the Second Bull Run Campaign, as well as many other battles of note, including service in the cavalry actions surrounding the Battle of Fredericksburg.
In 1863, they participated in the Chancellorsville Campaign, and played an important role in the opening battle of the Gettysburg Campaign at Brandy Station. Shortly thereafter, isolated and alone deep in Confederate territory on a scouting mission, they lost nearly 240 of their 280 remaining men at the June 17 skirmish at Middleburg. The regiment was refitted with new recruits and performed scouting and outpost duty along the upper Potomac River until September, when they rejoined the Army of the Potomac, participating in the Bristoe Campaign and Mine Run Campaign.
The following year, the 1st Rhode Island served in the defenses of Washington D.C. before eventually returning to the Shenandoah Valley under the command of Philip H. Sheridan. Due to heavy battle losses, the regiment was consolidated to a battalion of four companies on January 1, 1865. They continued serving in the valley for much of the rest of the war before being mustered out at Baltimore, Maryland on August 3, 1865.
During the war, the regiment lost 1 officer and 16 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 2 officers and 77 enlisted men to disease. Hundreds more were wounded or captured. A total of 2,124 different men served in the regiment at various times, although its field strength normally was less than 500 effectives.
This month, we mark the 240th anniversary of the infamous Burning of Jamestown by British and Hessian troops, a story we’ll share on these pages in the future. In this issue, we’ll take a look at another location not far from the destructive track taken by forces of the Crown on December 10-11, 1775. Our story is about the Conanicut Battery, one of a handful of primitive Rhode Island defenses at which you can still take a step back in time to one of the few remaining Revolutionary War era forts.
During the Revolution, colonial forces built as many as 90 fortifications around Rhode Island. These ranged from simple earthworks providing basic protection to men and their cannon to more elaborate fortifications. Today, seven earthwork sites are located on public land. The remaining are on private property and are not accessible.
In May 1776, the Rhode Island General Assembly ordered that a fort be built “at Beaver Tail, on Conanicut, to contain six or eight heavy cannon.” It was part of a group of defensive positions round the mouth of Narragansett Bay that would offer some protection against marauding British warships. Close to the opening of the West Passage is the highest point on the Beavertail peninsula, Prospect Hill. It was here that a lozenge-shaped earthwork battery was constructed, some 150 feet long and about 75 feet wide on a 22-acre site. The fortification was 90 feet above sea level and about 500 feet from the shoreline below, offering an ideal view of any incoming ships. The works were surrounded by a ditch and contained bastions at each end. Infantry, from an elevated position, could fire down on invaders working their way up from the shoreline.
Two other fortifications were also erected on the southern end of the island. All three were later occupied by the British from the time they came in force to Newport in December of 1776 until August 6, 1778.
There are no records of the exact type of weapons placed at the Battery, although documents suggest there were six to eight in number and heavy enough to reach Saunderstown, about a mile across the West Passage (although with no guarantee of accuracy). Although gunfire was frequently exchanged on the East Passage between British and colonial forces, there are no records of the cannon at the Conanicut Battery ever being fired by colonial troops. By the time the British fleet sailed up the west passage in December of 1776, the colonials had withdrawn their cannon to safety off the island. The British then manned and re-armed Conanicut, improving the earthworks to the configuration that is visible today. In August of 1777, some 200 Americans returned via rowboats from North Kingstown and briefly skirmished with the British at the Battery. But that is the only such encounter on record.
When the French in arrived in 1778, the British were ready. They opened fire on the Sagittaire, a 50-gun ship that had been sent up the West Passage to work its way around the northern tip of the island. The French fired back, but apparently no damage was done to either side. According to documents in the Jamestown Historical Society, at that time the British had placed powerful 24-pound cannon in the Battery. Almost immediately after the French arrived, the British removed their cannons from fortifications on Conanicut, relocating some to the East Passage for defensive purposes around Aquidneck Island and spiking others, tossing them into the Bay. After British and Hessian forces pulled out of Newport in October of 1779, French Marines briefly occupied the fortification in 1780-1781.
After the Revolution, the land reverted to peaceful use as farmland. It remained as such until just before the U.S. entry into World War I, when the government purchased 16 acres of land (later buying another 5 acres) to construct an underground observation post in support of the artillery batteries in Jamestown and both entrances to Narragansett Bay. These heavy-gun emplacements, known as Endicott Forts, were never fired against an enemy in either World War.
By 1963, the military had no further use for the property and deeded the entire site to the Town of Jamestown. In 1998 the National Park Service developed a well-researched report and preservation treatment plan for the site supporting the fact that the Revolutionary War earthworks and the WW I and II military elements had long-term historic importance to the defense of Narragansett Bay over the centuries. By that time, though, the property was choked with invasive vegetation and the landmarks overgrown. A government grant enabled development of detailed guidelines for vegetation clearing, site restoration and plantings. Community volunteers and contractors created a series of nature trails and interpretive signs. The Town of Jamestown re-dedicated the restored site with great fanfare in June of 2002. Today, the Conanicut Battery is on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the Friends of the Conanicut Battery. In June on alternating years, the Town of Jamestown celebrates the Battery’s historic role with a Battery Day observation.
If you head down to Beavertail, it is well worth a small detour down Battery Lane (marked by a simple sign just past Mackerel Cove and the entrance road to Fort Getty). Enjoy an easy walk down the quiet trails and pause here and there to read the narrative, illustrated plaques revealing a wealth of history across two centuries. Imagine for a moment taking your place as a militia member in the earthworks, armed with a musket or standing beside a cannon, or perhaps in a later century, manning the contemporary observation posts and awaiting the first sight of the enemy.
Photos in this article courtesy of the Jamestown Historical Society.
Written By Varnum Trustee & Member Brian Wallin.
The World War II Foundation is one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations committed to educating future generations about the personal stories of the WWII generation. The World War II Foundation accomplishes this mission through the production of award-winning documentary films that are donated to American Public Television for airing on PBS affiliates and networks around the United States and globally.
Gray has produced 15 documentaries to date on the personal stories of the World War II generation. Two additional documentaries are slated for 2016 release.
Tim Gray is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter and sports and news anchor across the country, including a 4-year assignment (2000 – 2004) as weekend sports anchor and sports/news reporter at WJAR (Channel 10) in Providence.
Please RSVP by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, to Scott Seaback at 401/413-6277 or by email at email@example.com.
THIS EVENT IS FOR VARNUM MEMBERS AND THEIR GUESTS.
RSVP BY FRIDAY, 12/11/15.
LOCATION: Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, East Greenwich, RI
MEETING DATE: Monday, December 14
TIME: 5:30 p.m. (social hour); 6:30 p.m. (dinner followed by program)
DINNER MENU: Steak & chicken tips, potatoes, vegetables, salad, rolls & butter, coffee, and pastries
THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO VARNUM MEMBERS AND THEIR GUESTS.
Drive north of East Greenwich along Post Road, and you’ll see a handsome white-shingled house on the corner of Alger Avenue. It is all that remains of the Gallaudet Aircraft Company, brainchild of Edson Fessenden Gallaudet, a Rhode Island aviation pioneer. Varnum Trustee Brian Wallin brings Gallaudet’s story and its impact on modern flight to our November 2015 meeting.
Edson Gallaudet, a member of the RI Aviation Hall of Fame, is credited with the invention of the warped wing, which was used by the Wright Brothers. He went on to invent an unusual, gear-driven propulsion system for powered aircraft. Gallaudet brought his company from Connecticut to Rhode Island in 1915 and set up shop on Chepiwanoxet Island, eventually employing nearly 1000 people in manufacturing his sleek seaplane designs for the US Army and Navy during World War I. After the war, business declined and the company could no longer survive, despite some interesting attempts.
Gallaudet’s vision lasted just about a decade. He sold his interest in the factory (there is a surprising twist to that part of the story). The plant was used for a variety of ventures until the property was ultimately destroyed by hurricanes in 1954 and 1960. Today, the land is a nature preserve operated by the City of Warwick and the Warwick Conservation Commission.
Brian Wallin, a veteran broadcast news reporter and producer, worked in Hartford, Providence, and Boston while contributing to ABC, CBS, and NBC news. He also covered the America’s Cup yacht races from 1967-83 for CBS Sports and the 2UE Network in Australia. After 20 years in broadcast journalism, Brian became a hospital management executive, serving in senior leadership roles in MA and MD before returning to RI in the 1990s. He served as Vice President of South County and Kent Hospitals, retiring in 2009. He remains active on several hospital committees. In addition to his writing and freelance voice-over work, Brian is an avid model ship builder and guitarist. He has been a member of the Varnum Continentals since 2009 and a Trustee since 2012.
IMPORTANT: Please RSVP by FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, to Scott Seaback at 401-413-6277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting Date: Monday, November 9, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m. (social hour); 6:30 p.m. (dinner followed by program)
The Varnum Continentals are committed to the preservation of the historic heritage of our community, our state, and our nation. Please take a virtual tour of our museums to learn more about our mission to encourage patriotism. You can participate with us through active membership and/or philanthropic support in our non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Museum tours are welcomed and our facilities may be rented for suitable events.
The Varnum Continentals are committed to encourage patriotism through the Varnum Armory Museum, the Continental Militia, and the James Mitchell Varnum House and thus to preserve, support, and communicate the military history of our community, our state, and our nation.